Gifford Pinchot and/or hike in lake?

I was thinking about doing a hike in to blue lake down in the Gifford Pinchot National Forrest and stay a night or two. Pretty basic 3 mile hike in but gorgeous serene lake. Only been there a few times but never with a rod. Anyone try fishin it? Or any better suggestions for an easy hike in lake that isn't snowed in still?
There's a good chance that it's snowed in. I tried to do a trip in the area last year around this time and there was still a lot of snow. Give the rangers a call and they can tell you.


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I would think( from my drive up in that area 3 weeks ago) that the road to the parking area would be fine. The trail would have snow and the lake should be ice free or at least open enough to fish. If you want to go for a day hike and fish, I will join ya and we can find out before a big weekend is planned, let me know.

Rod Sand

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You might want to try Cora,Bertha May Lake in the Sawtooth Area.Fished them quite afew times with much success.Going up there tomorrow.


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Rod, let me know how it goes up there. I have fished those lakes since the 80's. I used to leave/hide a raft, pump and oars up at Bertha May for years.
I haven't been to Blue Lake this year but I was in the area (although slightly lower elevation) in the last couple days. I can't guarantee that Blue is not snowed in but I would be very surprised if it was. We have much less snow as compared to the same time last year so you have a reasonable chance of success.
It would be a good idea to stop at the Ranger Station. The Ranger Station at Trout Lake is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and closed at lunch. I drive by pretty regularly and don't really see this in practice, I'd give em a call at 509 395 3400. They have been very helpful to me in the past.

Don't forget the mosquito repellant, I hiked through some marshy areas this week and the little rascals were thick, which seems unseasonably early.

Have a fun trip
There is still some snow hanging on the south sides of the ridges around here, and Blue Lake is on the south side. There might be some snow on the trail but I'm sure the lake is ice free.

BTW Wobbly is fishing well.


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Ray, heading up to Trout Creek tomorrow to scout some new fishing holes.

Is Baby Shoe pass open yet? I might try getting over to the Lewis soon as well.
So I did make it up to blue lake yesterday. Hiking is a bit of a bear. They Washington Trails Association and the marked signs say it is 3 1/4 miles. They couldn't be more wrong. I clocked 4.7 on my GPS. The lake was gorgeous as always. I wish I would have packed a kick tube up there and gear to stay the night, but oh well. Didn't see any snow until we got between the trail (where the ORV's have to stop) and the lake and it was just 10' or less of frozen slush that hadn't melted and very spread out.

As for the fishing, only slung flies for about 2 hours and just waded in about thigh deep. In hind sight a sinking line vise my intermediate WF would have been more beneficial since that water is still damn cold. I remember from past trips up there the thick horse flies so I used a few horse fly patterns right below the surface. Had 2 hits for a couple little guys (probably no bigger than 6") and that water is so damn clear I got to watch them shake the hook off within seconds of the hit. But if we would have stayed longer (and my buddy didn't have a wader flood to his knee in ice water) I know we would have snagged up a few.

The lake was like glass, which is great for pictures, but conversely didn't see a lot of activity near the surface. Just a few rolls from mid sized fish grabbing bugs sub surface.

All in all it was a fun trip and a beautiful day for a hike. Saw 2 people camping at the lake and only heard 1 group of dirt bikers. Definitely gonna make it back there soon. Probably with a bike and camping gear though.




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Thanks for the good report, does look like a nice lake for sure.
Maybe lake just needs to warm up a bit morel; lake looks real fishy.
Did you have to use the mosquito repellant?
I've been bugged out before this time of year south of where you are.